Wednesday, October 10, 2012

YouTube for Schools....It's Just a Cut and Paste Away!

We all have different dreams.  I am not sure of yours.  Maybe you dream of a fancy car to drive rather than your rusted out 1975 New Yorker.  Maybe you dream of that student in your classroom finally having that proverbial light bulb pop on during your amazing lesson.  Maybe your dream is simply for some quiet time away from the hectic pace of this world.  I have some different dreams.  Back a few years ago, I had a nerdy tech dream.  My dream was to be able to show a YouTube video in my classroom without the dreaded fear of a questionable recommended video popping up after the fun education video about photosynthesis.  Like most teachers, I just simply avoided using videos on YouTube for many years.  In fact, we banned the use of YouTube at Lakeside to all students.  In the same breath, however, I understood the wealth of content that was out there for our students and teachers to tap into.  So, along came my struggle to find a clean, simple way to use YouTube without all the sinful garbage.

As I sat back in my office chair dreaming of sandy beaches and warm weather, I scanned my Google+ account and out of the blue came a delightful little nugget.  What is this I see?  A video about YouTube with the word Schools in it.  Ah, I have to look closer.  Here's the video that I ran across.

Ah, yes.  The solution to ALL my YouTube problems.  With one quick flip of a switch, I was about to be the hero to all my students and teachers.  I was thinking that I would be able to have a ticker-tape parade through the hallways honoring Mr. Klug as the most amazing person ever.  Yes, that is right, I was about to open up YouTube to our school.  My little dream soon got less filled with flying paper and more filled with red tape.  Ugh!  What steps do I need to take to make this happen?  Then, does it work?

So, I followed all the instructions at and I was hoping for viola!  Well, voila happened, but not in a good way.  I configured our Lightspeed Internet Filter device to allow for YouTube for Schools. Following the directions, I placed all of the videos that I wanted the students to see into my playlist and then made my account have permission to be seen within our YouTube for Schools.  

Then, I ran into a rather interesting problem.  YouTube for Schools works great, but it won't allow students to browse to find any of my playlists.  They can access the videos in my playlist if they have the address, but they can't actually browse for my playlist.  So, without some extra work, the kids have no access to my videos.  Ugh!

So, my solution.  I already have a Google Site.  I highlighted my playlist within my web browser and I simply copy and pasted it into a webpage on my site.  In an easy way, I could give my students the full playlist without them having to do some heavy searching.  It's a bit clunky, but it served the purpose.  

If you look through the help file for YouTube for Schools, it is chucked full of people wondering for the solution.  Only time will tell whether or not Google with fix this problem.  My guess is that when enough people scream, they might fix it.  So, please, scream a lot. My simple dream is to take the clunk out of YouTube for Schools.

Until then, happy cutting and pasting of your playlist.  I'll try to update you if Google makes a change.  Until then, dream away.  I am headed back to that dream about my family, a beach, a lounge chair, a cold drink and some soft Caribbean music.  Oh yeah, reality.  Time to teach!  God's blessings to all!